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Kraan - Kraan CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.02 | 118 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars How cool does this sound : music with a Krautrock flair, strong song-writing ability, instrumental virtuosity, and a degree of free-spirited jamming ??????? KRAAN are just that (and more) !!! My first encounter with Kraan was during a lunch-break where I went to a nearby 2nd-hand LP shop and heard 'Bandits In The Wood' (from 'Let It Out') and I thought it sounded quite droll (silly me), I eventually purchased 'Andy Nogger' ( which was also available but had weaker cover-art...) and discovered a wonderfully entertaining LP. KRAAN was/is an incredibly strong instrumental combo to this day, amazing bass playing being the first and foremost trait of their music. They released one of *the best* live albums in the history of music (Live '75) - full of distinctive character and fantastic playing/jamming/improvising. On this debut LP, all the pieces were in place, it even sounds almost like a 'live-in-studio' recording - Peter Wolbrandt's funky guitaring, Johannes Pappert's snakey Sax playing (with a unique sound), a tight, jazz-inflected style to Jan Fride's Drumming along with excellent conga-work and Hellmut Hattler's Rickenbacker Bass - already demonstrating he can rip it up (and down) the fretboard in seconds flat. Songs are built around creative riffs and jamming, and incorporate Middle-Eastern scales. Side 1 - 'Sarah's Ritt durch den Schwarzwald' (6.23) opens up with cosmic sounds and breaks into a rumbling riff with a rather obscure progression, some vocals (courtesy of PW) great sax play and the rhythm section simmering along nicely. 'M.C. Escher' (6.14) has some Hammond Organ (credited to Romi) and is again an energetic, groovy jam. The first section has a killer riff and some Arabic tones, especially where the sax is concerned. We get more of that with 'Kraan Arabia' (9.54) - as its title suggests, where a mysterious phrygian mode is crafted into a Krauty work-out. The Saxophone here is sheer delight. The song picks up a few minutes in for some jamming. Hellhat manages a bass-solo, and the opening pattern is returned to, this time around with congas. Side 2 is largely taken up by 'Head' (18.36) which is again jammy, no doubt lots of improvising, great riffs, heavy parts, softer parts, it does all the right moves, and I must say the final riff which slowly builds from a lagging tempo to pure adrenalin, is a real buzz. The album closes with 'Sarah auf der Ganswies' (2.01) a light and delicate piece of music (totally lost within a cloud) complete with some manipulated sax sounds. A wonderful waffle of unique sounds and top-notch musicianship - 4.5 stars, easy.

Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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